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Genetic variation among Mediterranean populations of Sesamia nonagrioides (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as revealed by RFLP mtDNA analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2007

J.T. Margaritopoulos*
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446 Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
B. Gotosopoulos
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446 Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
Z. Mamuris
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, Ploutonos 26, 41221 Larissa, Greece
P.J. Skouras
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446 Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
K.C. Voudouris
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446 Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
N. Bacandritsos
Institute of Veterinary Research of Athens, Neapoleos 25, Agia Paraskevi, 15310 Athens, Greece
A.A. Fantinou
Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece
J.A. Tsitsipis
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446 Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
*Fax: +30 24210 93286 E-mail: (alternative:


Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of two segments of mitochondrial DNA (COI and 16S rRNA) was used to examine genetic variation in Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefèbvre) populations from the Mediterranean basin. Four populations were collected from central and southern Greece, and five from northern latitudes: Greece, Italy, France and Spain. No variation was observed in COI, while 16S rRNA segment proved highly polymorphic and 28 different haplotypes were found. Lower intra-population polymorphism was found in the northern populations than in southern ones. Although no significant isolation by distance was found, the UPGMA tree based on Nei's raw number of nucleotide differences separated the populations into two major groups, i.e. one with the northern (40.6°N–43.4°N) and the other with the southern populations (37.3°N–39.2°N). Analysis of molecular variance revealed that most of the variation was between the two major groups (ΦCT=0.559), and all pairwise comparisons between the northern and southern populations resulted in high and significant FST values (overall FST=0.604). The high FST values and the strong spatial genetic structure indicate that long-distance migration may be a rare event. The populations do not seem to have experienced a strong historical bottleneck. The occurrence of a few widespread haplotypes and the genetic similarity of the northern populations could be attributed to a historical expansion of certain haplotypes from the south towards to the northern borders of the species' distribution area.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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